One of the books I read in 2022 is a new one from Ed Welch, entitled, “I Have a Psychiatric Disorder: What Does the Bible Say?” I found this helpful to my personal growth as a pastor and counselor. I encourage you to read it as well. Here are some sentences that I highlighted while reading.
We know that when Jesus says “overcome” he does not mean complete physical healing and the eradication of all trouble in this life. But he does mean that the life he has given us will reach into the darkness we so often feel (John 10:10), and hope will push back despair. (p. 4)
God sees us when others have sinned against us, and God speaks to us when we have been victimized by violent acts. The occasion for many of the psalms is oppression and violence, in which the psalmists, speaking for us all, are at the end of themselves, and they turn to God for strength, help, and justice. Spiritual problems go deep. They are matters of our spirit for which we need the Spirit. We might benefit from medication and other treatments, but we need God and his Spirit above all else. Let’s consider this more carefully. A spiritual problem has to do with your spirit. Your spirit is the real you all things good, bad, confused, painful, uncertain, worth celebrating, your loves, your doubts, your shame, and whatever you hope to keep secret. (pp. 6-7)
When you speak from your heart to the Lord, conversations with other people are sure to follow, and God will use many of those conversations. The words and questions from other people will help you, and you, through your openness and willingness to talk to Jesus, will help them. (p. 15)
Fear and anxiety signal that something important to you is threatened. The primary threats are to your money, your reputation, your relationships, and your health, or the well-being of those you love. (p. 19)
Jesus is close. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and he understands pain and suffering because he himself suffered. He certainly understands when life itself is threatened. If we think that our circumstances are beyond what Scripture identifies, perhaps we have forgotten that Jesus’s pain and grief were so severe that he thought they would take his life before he could accomplish his mission (Mark 13:34). (p. 22)
The intent of the cross of Christ was to bring you close more than make you good. He, indeed, will produce good in you, but through forgiveness of sins, you are his, and he is yours. (p. 25)
The gospel is that Jesus left heaven to find you, and he entered every dark place imaginable to do it. The gospel is about being close to God. To do that, Jesus identified with you even to the point of entering into your afflictions. (p. 40)
Here is a rule that has no exceptions: when you look to be rescued by anything or anyone in this world, your rescuer will control you. Then your rescuer will become your master, and you will need to be rescued again. (p. 50)
Medication will not address the deeper spiritual matters that are answered by God’s presence and your trust in him, but it can quiet a body that feels under attack. (pp. 31-32)
Medication does not raise a moral question: Is it right or wrong to take medication? The question is, Is medication beneficial? Might it strengthen us? (p. 67)
Scripture seems to identify the narcissist easily. Here is the prototype of sin. Haughty, lover of self (2 Timothy 3:2), and spiritually dead. End of story. Case closed. The cause of a narcissist’s maddening lifestyle. Confession and God’s forgiveness are the answer. (p. 74)
I Have a Psychiatric Disorder is part of a new series of small books from New Growth Press entitled Ask the Christian Counselor.